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particularly turned towards the province of Kandahar.
Humayun, by the aid of a Persian army, took Kandahar
in A.H. 952 (1545), and in recognition of the services
rendered to him by Tahmasp, ceded it to his benefactor,
but subsequently took back the gift. Shortly afterwards
the province was annexed by Abbas the Great, but upon
his death it was seized by the Uzbegs through the defec-
tion of its Persian governor, as mentioned in the previous
chapter. The Uzbegs were driven out in A.H. 1021
(1634) by Shah Jahan, and in turn the province was
recovered by Abbas II. in A.H, 1037 (1650). The
Moghul emperors of India again and again besieged
this veritable " bone of contention," Aurangzeb himself,
on one occasion, taking the field in person. But the
natural strength of the city defied all efforts, and conse-
quently the province still formed part of the Persian
empire in the time of Shah Husayn.
The Ghilzais.—The Ghilzai tribe are a mixed race.1
To-day they number perhaps one hundred thousand
families, and at the period under consideration were the
most powerful tribe in the province of Kandahar, As the
account given of the fortunes of the province proves, its
overlords had been constantly changing, and the wild
Ghilzais at this period were suspected, probably with
good reason, of intriguing with the Court of Delhi.
The Appointment of Gurgin Khan.—It was consequently
decided to appoint George or Gurgin Khan, Prince of
Georgia, to govern this turbulent province, and he marched
into its capital with a powerful army composed of twenty
thousand Persians and a Georgian contingent. No re-
sistance to this overwhelming force was attempted, the
disloyal chiefs were cowed, and the yoke of Persia was
riveted on the province more securely than before. The
inhabitants were treated as conquered rebels, and the
oppression to which they were exposed, together with the
intriguing nature of the chiefs, led to the despatch of
secret missions to Isfahan with complaints against the
harshness of the Governor.
1 The Ghilzais are generally believed to be identical with the Khalj mentioned bjr
Idrisi, but Longworth Dames considers this very doubtful (vide his article " Ghalzai n in
Part XX. of Encyclopaedia of Islam}.